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Forum topic by Ken90712 posted 01-09-2016 05:11 PM 1462 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17592 posts in 3367 days

01-09-2016 05:11 PM

I finally did it, yesterday I bought a Jet 1221VR Mid lathe. I have no experience in turning but have always wanted to learn. Woodcraft has a sale for a cpl days all Jet Equipment is 15% off. So it saved me 120.00 not bad.

I’m taking a class soon on intro to turning.

Now I need to buy some tools and a Chuck. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. I have been looking at some chucks & chisels on Penn.

Is this a decent chuck or would you get something different? Barracuda

How about this chisel set? HSS set

or this Set

Thx again I’m looking fwd to this learning process and turning some fun stuff.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

22 replies so far

View lew's profile


12385 posts in 3933 days

#1 posted 01-09-2016 05:20 PM

I had an opportunity to test drive the Easy Wood Chuck. If you have the $$ it is an awesome chuck. Woodcraft usually has one in their stores.

When I got my first lathe, it came with a set of tools- similar to what you linked to. I found I didn’t use all of them. It might be better to purchase tools singularly and get the ones you really want/need. The type of turning you want to do will determine which type of tools you will need- bowl, hollowed vessels, spindle work, etc.

I guess it is too late to warn you about the turning addiction, so I’ll just say welcome to the slippery slope!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10299 posts in 4230 days

#2 posted 01-09-2016 05:51 PM

I’m NOT a turner… BUT I’ve seen a lot of good things about those Easy Tools where you just rotate the cutting heads 4 times or so & replace’em… saving all of the sharpening time & expense… PLUS doing a fantastic job of Cutting…

I see Pens in your future… The Writing is on the wall… :)

Have fun!

I turned one large Lamp in the 9th grade… Nothing since… :) (still have it! after gutting it)
... maybe someday… ?? Need more room to put it! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View moke's profile


1259 posts in 2954 days

#3 posted 01-09-2016 06:01 PM

Welcome to the Brother/Sister-hood of turners. As Lew mentioned it is a slippery slope. The cheapest thing you will buy is the lathe…the accessories are the biggest part…..50.00 at a time!!! I’m not sure that I have invested more in flat work tools or turning tools.

The chuck you selected is a good one….I have a couple similar and they are well built….IMHO what you do not want is a “tommy bar” chuck….I don’t have enough hands to operate it! The turning chisels you chose are both ok. I made the mistake of buying too good of chisels to start with before I knew anything about sharpening. Even now that I am better at sharpening I still use a number of tools that are commensurate with those you selected. You can also make some carbide insert tools that you might like too. Either use or purchase a slow speed grinder and a wolverine type set up to sharpen the tools. Good sharp tools will help you tremendously. I was lucky enough to find and join a really good turning club. They had a library of DVD’s and mentor program….this helped me tons!!! Don’t be afraid of chucking up a 2×2 or 4×4 pine to practice with a skew or gouge. While you will not end up with anything very elegant, it is fun and good practice.

It’s a great adventure….it is nothing like flat work, but can be incorporated with flat projects. Have fun!!

-- Mike

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 01-09-2016 06:11 PM

Thx guys great advice as always… I think the main reason I was looking at the set was I don’t know what I’ll need to turn. I know Ill be making Bowls, pens, bottle stops ect. I have wanted to slide down this slippery slope for a while. LOL Ill look into the easy chuck.

I did receive my wet grinder the other day anticipating the need for sharpening. Grizzly Wet Grinder

More reading to do LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Woodknack's profile


12402 posts in 2558 days

#5 posted 01-09-2016 06:33 PM

Tools are cheaper in sets generally, than individually. I personally would prefer the set of 6 because I prefer the larger sizes and never use spear scrapers. Barracuda is probably a good chuck, never used one.

-- Rick M,

View pauls's profile


30 posts in 3654 days

#6 posted 01-09-2016 06:34 PM

Welcome to the world of woodturning.

I suggest you consider joining the AAW (American Association of Woodturners) and see if there is a local chapter near you. I had the good fortune of meeting a local turner Mike Shuler,, in 2011 and, with his guidance, I started my turning adventure and saved a bunch of $$$$ following his guidance/mentoring.


-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

View ken_c's profile


325 posts in 3340 days

#7 posted 01-09-2016 07:03 PM

I am so sorry buddy, you are dommed :-)

keep an eye out for a set of sorby tools on eBay. D-way makes great stuff too, I really like my d-way tools. Youtube is your friend, I will forward links to great turners that you will learn a ton from.

I would stay away from the cheep Chinese steel.

You will need to learn to sharpen too. I got a tormek used on craigslist a while ago then had top drop $300 on the turners jigs, well worth it.

View TheDane's profile


5535 posts in 3841 days

#8 posted 01-09-2016 07:22 PM

Check out Doug Thompson’s tools ( ) ... his tools cost a bit more, but are made from first-rate steel and the customer service cannot be beat. Give Doug a call … he is easy to talk to and gives excellent advice.

The problem with buying tool sets is you may be getting tools you don’t need and won’t use, and you may be getting inferior grade steel.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View hoss12992's profile


4073 posts in 2071 days

#9 posted 01-09-2016 08:33 PM

Not sure whether to say congrats or I’m sorry. Jet laths are awesome. I have had my Jet 1236 for about 14 years now and absolutely love turning. You have already got a lot of good advice here. I would suggest watching YouTube. It will cut down the learning curb and also give you some new ideas. Here are a couple of links that you will find handy. Great folks

Hope this helps and congrats buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View OSU55's profile


1931 posts in 2167 days

#10 posted 01-09-2016 09:19 PM

Welcome to the turning side! I have the Barracuda2 chuck/jaws set, and have found it to do everything I’ve needed, from small spindle turnings to 14” bowls. I also have the dedicated flat jaw chuck for finishing bowl bottoms. It came out on top in terms of value when I compared because of all the jaw sets and screw. You may want to look at Grizzly’s chuck sets. Most of the other chucks appear to have smooth dovetail jaws, and I prefer the serrated jaws the Barracuda has – more holding power.

As for tool brand, I’ve stayed with the value brand Chinese stuff (Hurricane, Benjamin’s Best, HF) and have not found myself wanting. You can look at my projects to see what the tools are capable of. Kinda hard to spend 2 to 4x for Sorby and others when I seem to get as good of edge life (based on internet info). I’m sure those high $ tools are better, but does a hobbyist need them? It’s a bit like comparing a Dewalt 735 planer to an industrial 3 ph 24” unit – yea its better but I don’t need it and it’s a lot more $. Which tools is dependent on what you turn. Don’t buy a gouge or a scraper just because of the “special grind”. You have to be able to reproduce the grind anyway, so any tool with the right cross section can be ground to the profile wanted. Except for the HF tool set I got when I purchased the HF lathe, I purchased sets of tool types, like a set of 3 spindle gouges (1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”) from PSI, when I decided I need them. The set discount makes the 3rd or 4th tool cost $5-$7. You will most likely need a few scrapers, spindle rough gouge (1”, I also have a 2” that gets some use), skew 1” and ~1/2”, 2-3 spindle gouges, 1/4 to 1/2, parting tool, plus bowl gouges if that is in your plans. I find I can find a use for about any tool – I may need to regrind it into something else, but all the tools get used.

As for carbide, I’ve about run my course with them. Made my own handles and used Cap’n Eddies inserts. The edges just aren’t sharp enough for finish passes, so I relegated then to rougher only duty, mainly on segmented bowls. Now that I’ve learned to use bowl gouges better, I can rough out faster with gouges than the carbide. Same with spindle roughers.

For tool sharpening, you may want to rethink the Grizzly wet sharpener. I have it and use it to sharpen lathe tools, but I use a 6” bench grinder to “rough shape” the tool. The wet grinder is very slow for removing much material, which is good for resharpening, but pita for shaping. I use the Tormek SVD-185 gouge jig, TTS-100 Turning Tool Setter, WM-200 Anglemaster, TT-50 Truing & Dressing Tool and BGM-100 Bench Grinder Tool Rest Mount with the wet grinder and the bench grinder. You will also need a flat platform rest for scrapers – I use the Grizzly one. The gouge jig allows you to create about any grind easily. I already had the wet sharpener so I went with it. If I were to do it again, I’d go with a slow speed dry grinder and something like the Wolverine set up.

You may want to consider power sanding – a huge improvement over hand sanding. I use a cheap (~$40) angle drill (amazon) with back up and interface pads and paper from I like the 2” pads with 2-3/8” blue flex discs.

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2982 days

#11 posted 01-10-2016 12:11 AM

First, congrats on your new toy. I’d say you’re on the right track as far as tools to get you started. I agree w/ken_c about Sorby tools. Sometimes you can catch em on sale and that’s when to buy one or two if you are able. I’m no pro at turning so that’s my 2-cents input. Good luck. Get into a starter class like you say, or watch youtube for “how-to’s”. Lotsa gr8 turners and teachers out there. Work/Turn safe. Be careful. You’re first “catch”, may scare the crap out of you.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3367 days

#12 posted 01-10-2016 12:44 AM

All great info, I really appreciate everyone taking the time. I’m taking notes. I’ll be looking into you even more than normal. Time to read more about chucks. Sweet.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1414 posts in 1908 days

#13 posted 01-10-2016 11:44 PM

Ken, when you get to the point where you are needing to remove tenons successfully, pm me and I’ll show you what I invented…........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View TheDane's profile


5535 posts in 3841 days

#14 posted 01-11-2016 12:10 AM

Ken, when you get to the point where you are needing to remove tenons successfully, pm me and I ll show you what I invented…........ Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

Jerry … Can’t remember where, but I recently saw somebody using what looked exactly like your center-steady. Us old folks often suffer from CRS (can’t remember $#it).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1414 posts in 1908 days

#15 posted 01-11-2016 04:48 AM

Gerry, I think we all are inflicted with CRS, or maybe it’s actually called overloaded brain cell. At least, that’s my case. My poor old brain cell is clogged with other stuff, and can’t process the past very well anymore.

The Video you saw was more than likely, that was more than likely done by Chas Thornhill, posted on You Tube Monday. It blew me away how well he presented it with the size of the bowl, and wood with the bark inclusion was the perfect candidate for not being able to use a vacuum. For those interested, the video is very good quality, 34 minutes long, has 17-18 minutes showcasing my invention, the Tail Stock Steady. At You Tube, look for, Chas Thornhill, “finish turning a 20” natural edge pecan bowl”. You’ll like it. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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